Warning that the weak U.S. economy will continue to drag down consumer spending this year, Wells Fargo & Co. issued a blanket downgrade of the transaction processing segment.

"There is no doubt that consumer spending will be the pivotal issue in 2010 for our group, and probably the economy as a whole," Well Fargo senior analyst Timothy Willi wrote in a research note last week. "When we look at the job market, housing market and savings rates, we are not confident that there is a backdrop for sustainable improvement in spending and transaction volume growth."

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